Heath and Adams help keep Stoke top

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STOKE Bruerne extended their lead at the top of Northamptonshire Cricket League Division Five after a 95-run victory over Isham IIs.

Having won the toss, the visitors put Stoke into bat and their decision was quickly justified with three early wickets.

Shaun Willis removed Paul Gardner and Simon Orme while Christian Smart had Marc Bliss caught.

In the face of good bowling, Charlie Edwards batted well for his 38 to keep the scoreboard ticking over as Stoke wobbled.

But once he was bowled by Willis, Stoke found themselves in danger of collapsing at 58-4 when Robert Anderson and Sam Heath came together.

The pair batted circumspectly and added 63 runs with Heath hitting four sixes in his 51 while Anderson cleared the rope twice during a much-needed 31.

At 154-5 and with plenty of overs remaining, Stoke appeared on course for an imposing total before losing their last five wickets for 18 runs as Peter Willis (5-30) tore through the lower order.

Isham’s reply got off to the worse possible start when 16-year-old Alex Chaffer removed openers Ian Kellend (7) and Tony Robinson (0) while Gary Bliss ran out Elliott Leach for two.

Chaffer picked up his third wicket soon after before Luke Adams also took two wickets in quick succession to leave Isham in disarray.

Despite a late cameo from Damien Conyard (25), the result was never in doubt as Isham plummeted to 77 all out.

Chaffer finished with 3-31 and Heath took 2-4 but the stand out bowler was Adams with figures of 9-2-19-4.

The result means Stoke now lead Division Five on 200 points, 33 ahead of Weldon.

On Saturday, the 1st XI visit eighth-placed Irthlingborough Town IIs hoping to extend their unbeaten run to six matches.